Collaboration, Medical Technology Save Visitor's Life

Collaboration, Medical Technology Save Visitor's Life

Article Apr 21, 2011

Nancy Olson, a 63-year-old artist visiting Bellingham, Washington, from Priest Lake, Idaho, owes her life to new medical technology and the collaboration of the local medical community.

Olson says she wants everyone to know that what Whatcom Medic One paramedics and caregivers at the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cardiovascular Center did for her was "immeasurably wonderful," and that she cannot fully express her gratitude.

On April 10, Olson believed she was suffering from food poisoning, but when she also began experiencing chest pain in her motel room, her friend called 9-1-1. When paramedics arrived, Olson had just gone unconscious and they found her heart had stopped beating.

Efforts to revive her included defibrillation and administration of cardiac medications, but despite these measures her heart would not restart. During the resuscitation effort, a new mechanical CPR device being evaluated by the Bellingham Fire Department was attached to Olson. This piece of equipment, called the LUCAS Chest Compression System from Physio-Control, is designed to precisely and effectively compress and expand the chest in an attempt to circulate blood when the heart is unable to do so.

In Olson's case, the device was so effective she began to regain consciousness when the device was operating, a very rare occurrence in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest situations. When the device was turned off briefly to perform further medical procedures she would become unconscious again.

Given the effectiveness in maintaining Ms. Olson's circulation with use of the LUCAS device and advanced airway management, paramedics rapidly transported Olson to the PeaceHealth St. Joseph emergency department with the device still providing automated CPR and keeping her alive.

At PeaceHealth St. Joseph she was taken to the cardiac catheterization lab with the CPR device still in operation, where cardiac surgeon Dr. William Lombardi cleared a blockage in her left anterior descending coronary artery.

Today, Olson is alive and well with normal neurologic function, expecting to be discharged home just days after suffering a typically fatal cardiac arrest.

Olson has given permission to make her story known in order to educate the community and express her gratitude to everyone involved.

"This outcome is another example of saving lives with the use of cutting edge medical technology and the dynamic paramedic care that Whatcom Medic One is famous for," said Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Boyd, whose department operates Whatcom Medic One. "But this story isn't just about technology, It's about people working together to ensure that anyone in Whatcom County has access to first class emergency care, from the moment we receive a 9-1-1 call, through the hospital emergency department, and until a patient like Nancy Olson goes home--alive and well."

Continue Reading

For more information on the LUCAS Chest Compression System, visit www.checkoutthefuture.com/lucas.

The new equipment line-up is built to meet the critical needs of law enforcement, fire and rescue operations.
"We're in the business of saving lives... having more Narcan out there is a positive thing," says Ted Jankowski, Stamford's director of public safety, health and welfare.
A $35 subscription fee covers 100% of emergency transport costs for a full year, no matter how often a resident calls for an ambulance.
Currently, the county can only afford two dispatchers per 24-hour shift, who often can't provide medical assistance because they aren't EMD-certified.
Somerset Fire Department opted for the protection in the event of a school shooting where members would have to treat victims in the warm zone.
Hyperion is the industry’s first smart, camera-based dual object detection system, combining lane change assistance and blind spot detection.
If Tony Spagnoletti had suffered a heart attack at home instead of work, he wouldn't have made it to the hospital in time to get revived after going into cardiac arrest.
Priority Dispatch recognizes RapidDeploy for its dynamic, customizable interface and commitment to the public safety community.
The NAEMT EMS PAC will use its funds to help EMS elect or re-elect federal candidates who support quality prehospital and out-of-hospital care in every community across the nation.
The bill under consideration would give paramedics the authority to transport certain patients to behavioral health facilities or sobering centers instead of the ED.
After the Parkland school shooting, Hastings High School nurse Keri Cotton organized the training to ensure students felt empowered to act in a crisis.
The Emergency Chaplain Group's volunteer counselors are former first responders themselves.
Alex Minassian, 25, is in custody after mowing down dozens of people in the busy streets of Toronto.
Travis Reinking, who was wanted for shooting and killing four people in a Waffle House establishment, was found by police in a wooded area.
In honor of National 9-1-1 Education Month, first responders will receive one free Frosty from Wendy's and customers can donate money to support dispatchers.